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SYFY WIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe

Harrison Ford joins the MCU as the new Thunderbolt Ross in 'Captain America: New World Order'

The legendary Harrison Ford is heading to the MCU.

By Matthew Jackson
Harrison Ford

Not so long ago, fans began to wonder if the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones film might be Harrison Ford's last hurrah, marking the curtain call for one of the biggest movie stars of all time. Now, we know that's not the case, because Ford's heading to the MCU.

Deadline reports that Ford is set to co-star as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in the upcoming Marvel Phase 5 film Captain America: New World Order, alongside new Captain America Anthony Mackie and co-stars Carl Lumbly, Tim Blake Nelson, and Shira Haas. Ford will replace actor William Hurt in the role after Hurt passed away earlier this year at the age of 71. 

The casting marks yet another major star move for Marvel Studios, which has previously landed heavy hitters ranging from Samuel L. Jackson to Angelina Jolie to screen legend Robert Redford in its ever-evolving quest to tell a years-long story spanning dozens of films and TV series. Prior to Ford's casting, Ross was one of the MCU's most frequently utilized non-superhero supporting characters, first appearing in The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and then popping up in everything from Captain America: Civil War to Avengers: Infinity War to last year's Black Widow. Hurt was an acting legend in his own right, a powerful screen presence who could face off against the likes of Captain America and Iron Man without blinking. With Ford taking over the role, we can expect that to still be the case. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier creator Malcolm Spellman and staff writer Dalan Musson crafted the script for the upcoming film, the first to feature Mackie in the Captain America role after the events of the Disney+ series. Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) will direct the film, which is expected to be a key part of Phase 5 of the MCU. 

As for Ford, he's coming off a series of roles that reminded fans everywhere of just how far-reaching and powerful his pop culture footprint has been over the years. In 2015 he returned as Han Solo for the Star Wars sequel trilogy, in 2017 he co-starred in Blade Runner 2049, and now he's preparing to launch his fifth and final Indiana Jones adventure next year alongside director James Mangold. Earlier this year, fans wondered if Indy 5 might be Ford's last film role ever after composer John Williams suggested as much in announcing his own retirement. Now, it seems we'll get to hang on to Ford at least a little while longer, while he adds yet another franchise to his stellar career. After that? Who knows, maybe he'll stick around for the Thunderbolts movie, too?

Indiana Jones 5 is in theaters June 30, 2023. Captain America: New World Order is in theaters May 3, 2024.

Looking to refresh yourself on Harrison Ford's action canon? Air Force One is streaming now on Peacock.